There are lots of good suggestions here. Recurrent themes —
- need for cooperation amongst the regulators / law enforcement / non-profits / service agencies / etc.;
- where to find help isn’t clear;
- socialability (sp?) should be turned against the scammers (don’t isolate yourself: use your social skills to find and share accurate information)
- as my friend John Aguino (NM Council on Indian Aging) says, elderlies need to know their rights and stand up for themselves.
By Lauren Dake | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, from the July 24, 2006 edition
WASHINGTON – Frieda White was the perfect target. Recently divorced, the 70-year-old hoped to supplement her monthly $1,196 fixed income by starting a small business out of her home. When Ms. White received an e-mail purportedly looking for eBay workers, she didn’t see any harm in responding. Not long after White hit “reply,” she received a phone call that would persuade her to take out a $5,365 loan on her Discover card to start her own business….
The SEC took a step in that direction last week when it hosted its first-ever Seniors Summit in Washington, D.C….
Part of the solution, officials say, is teaching seniors how to spot the scammers. Another part is greater cooperation among various levels of law enforcement…. State and federal regulators from across the country met to discuss ways to combat investment fraud as well as a new report on the tactics scammers use. The study, released by the NASD Investor Education Foundation, may help blunt what regulators worry will be an increasing trend: scammers targeting seniors.
…Since states use different titles for their regulators, finding the right person to contact can be difficult. The NASAA’s website (www.nasaa.org), has a link titled “contact your regulator,” and the NASD has a hotline (800-289-9999) that can help investors determine whether sellers are licensed and whether there have been any complaints or legal action taken against their company.
"How seniors can spot a con more easily"